Why Proactive System Monitoring Is Critical

Few things are as potentially destructive to small and mid-sized businesses as downtime.

The loss of revenue, the reputation damage, the loss of customers — this terrible trifecta can easily drive a business to the brink of bankruptcy.

At the same time, many of the causes of downtime are simply unavoidable. All hardware eventually fails, all software can become buggy, and even relatively simple things like wiring have a shelf life.

Basically, anything that can break will break at some point. But unlike, say, the garbage disposal in your home reaching the end of its life, IT failures are usually much more than an inconvenience.dyn_proactive_monitoring_banner1.png

Enter proactive system monitoring

Unlike reactive monitoring, which addresses issues after they occur, proactive system monitoring (PSM) is all about identifying, flagging, and resolving problems before they become a catastrophe.

When properly implemented, PSM acts like an early warning system for everything that keeps a company up and running. And its benefits extend beyond simply reducing the chances of costly downtime. 

In fact, companies that adhere to PSM principles are usually able to achieve:

  • Enhanced security from having system surveillance tools in place to flag unusual activities or vulnerabilities that can be exploited
  • Optimized performance by more easily identifying bottlenecks, resource limitations, and other issues that hurt system performance
  • Reduced costs through the prevention of major system failures and the havoc such failures can create, from the need for emergency repairs and data recovery to lost productivity

As for the consequences from not utilizing PSM, these can range from minor to  catastrophic.

On the minor end, you have things like higher operational costs due to the need to spend more on IT maintenance and repairs in the long run. 

Additionally, system performance can degrade much more quickly from issues like resource limitations, configuration errors, and software conflicts — further increasing costs and hurting productivity.

On the catastrophic end, companies that don’t proactively monitor their IT systems can be in for a world of hurt should problems occur. 

Basically, everything from a loss of customers and revenue to litigation can be on the table.


PSM best practices

PSM isn’t a product you can just buy off the shelf, but rather, it is a series of steps that need to be implemented. 

While every company is different and with unique tech needs, at a high level, there are four areas of focus for implementing PSM. These are:

1. Defining monitoring objectives

Companies need to kick things off by defining clear monitoring objectives that align with their business goals. This means determining which systems and metrics are critical to monitor, then establishing performance thresholds and alert criteria for those systems.

2. Leveraging automation

At the heart of PSM is the continuous collection and analysis of data as it arrives. To do that, automated monitoring tools that identify issues, generate real-time alerts, and even initiate automated responses are critical because doing so manually is so time-consuming that it becomes ineffective.

3. Establishing a baseline

In order for monitoring to be useful, companies need to establish a baseline for normal system performance. Put another way, you can’t know something is wrong if you don’t know when it’s right. 

4. Reviewing data regularly

PSM is a long game. By regularly reviewing monitoring data collected by automation tools, companies can identify trends and gain insights into system performance. This information is then used to make informed decisions about system maintenance, upgrades, and optimizations. Regular reviews also help identify gaps in monitoring strategy so necessary adjustments can be made.

Getting PSM up and running

While implementing continuous monitoring can be done with a DIY approach, there are a number of reasons most small and mid-sized businesses should partner with professional IT providers. These include:

  • The wealth of experience and expertise IT providers have in monitoring and managing systems, which can help identify potential issues that may not be apparent to in-house IT teams
  • Access to advanced monitoring tools and technologies that can monitor a wide range of metrics, from server performance to network traffic, and provide real-time alerts when anomalies are detected
  • Dedicated teams that provide 24/7 monitoring support and rapidly respond to alerts
  • Strategic planning and consultation services for optimizing infrastructure, identifying trends, and providing recommendations for improving system performance

Be as prepared as possible

In a perfect tech utopia, hardware would never fail, software would never become outdated or glitchy, and hackers wouldn’t exist.

We’re obviously not there yet, and we probably never will be, which is why it’s critical for companies of all sizes to be proactive in the monitoring of the tools they rely on to operate.

By adopting PSM best practices, issues like downtime, security breaches, and degraded performance may not be avoided outright, but their potential damage can be dramatically reduced.



Kevin is the Founder and CEO of Dynamic Computing. He’s both a visionary leader and an expert hands on practitioner with years of experience in all things IT. Dynamic Computing makes technology work for top-performing small to mid-sized organizations in the Seattle area. We offer managed IT services, IT consulting and transformations for companies from a few to a few hundred employees. Kevin founded Dynamic Computing in the year 2000 while in attending the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington. As a fourth generation small business owner and entrepreneur, Kevin knew that small to mid-sized companies needed a better solution to help guide and support their use of technology. So he set out to build a company that would look closer to truly understand our clients' businesses and partner with them to guide and support them on their path. Over the past few years, we've focused our energy on growth, change and improvement, scaling our operations and improving our processes with every step. We've managed to triple the size of our team and revenues while consistently ranking among the best in class for industry performance. Kevin was recognized as a 40 under 40 honoree by the Puget Sound Business Journal in 2018 and as Washington State's Mr. Future Business Leader by FBLA in 1998. So what’s next? Well, we're building the premier managed IT services company in the Pacific Northwest and we won’t stop until we get there. We hope you’ll join us on our journey.